Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Best Loved Kids

Sometimes I just can't find words. I feel lost. Unable. Questioning. Questioning everything.

And then I find myself on the couch nuzzled up next to two small people, totally absorbed in a simple book.

And the words on the page pierce me in the best way and all of a sudden I remember what we're supposed to be doing.

The original plan was set in stone when we first brought these kiddos home from the hospital.

But for some reason, when I'm about fifteen minutes into my day, and there's spilled milk soaking into my socks and no one can seem to find a pair of clothes that semi-matches and doesn't have holes in it, and there's to much loud bickering going on for one Mama's patience to bare, and my eyes are on the verge of brimming over... I forget the plan.

And then in His kindness... there on the couch with the two cuties tucked in close while we read a favorite, The Best Loved Doll, He reminds me. And in that moment I can feel the joy coming back, because I remember, I remember the plan.

The story is about a little girl who gets invited to a party and is asked to bring a doll. There will be prizes for the doll that does the most things, the oldest doll, and the doll with the prettiest clothes. Betsy has a doll for each of those categories and could easily win the prize for any of them but as she looks around her room trying to decide whom she shall bring to the party she makes a most extraordinary decision...

"Betsy crossed the room to her bed.
She lifted Jennifer from the bed and looked at her.
Jennifer's wig was loose and her hair was tangled. Her nose was cracked. When Betsy tilted her, her left eye closed, but her right eye stayed open. Her cheeks were patched with adhesive tape. Her white stockings and her black patent leather slippers had been lost long ago, and her feet were bare. The toes on both her feet were worn away and, her knees were scarred. But on her face she wore a smile that never went away.
"You aren't my oldest doll, Jennifer," said Betsy.
"Your dress is a fright. And you can't do a single thing. But I do love you dear Jennifer."
She carefully laid Jennifer back on the bed. For a minute she stood looking at her. She puckered her forehead. Suddenly, she snatched Jennifer from the bed and rushed out of the room.
... And Jennifer, with a smile on her face that never went away, she looked like the happiest doll in the world."

AND that's when I remembered that my desire for these children under the farmhouse roof, is that they would grow up LOVED on!

I could easily give a list of all that I'm not good at with these kids... but today you get the list of what I think we do right around here...

Group hugs in the kitchen.
Long mornings on the couch with books that touch the soul.
The same three knock knock jokes told over and over again around the farm table at every meal.
Snow angels and warm mittens.
Encouraging words.
New recipes, made together.
Little boys chasing each other around the family room laughing themselves silly.
Pudgy baby arms wrapping me up in a bear hug, a dozen times a day, seven days a week.
Butterfly kisses.
Warm socks and a cup of coco on these freezing cold days.

"Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God, and everyone who loves has been born of God, and knows God." 1 John 4:7

I am not raising doctors, writers, teachers or farmers.

I am raising lovers.

Lord, without love, we've got nothing.

Make me a lover of You…of them…

Who cares if there are holes in their jeans, and jelly on their faces, crumbs on the floor, and pee on the toilets. What does it really matter if their hair is a bit more scraggly that you might have hoped for and you don't have a lot of places for your company to sit because your living room has been taken over by train tracks and matchbox cars?


THIS is the plan. 

THIS has always been the plan since day one.

Not perfection. Not geniuses.


This time, this space, is fleeting, folks.

Love for all your worth.

May these kids grow up to be the best loved kids the world has ever seen.